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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • A great beach read!

    If, like me, you enjoy stories that involve friends and family told in multiple time periods, I’m here to recommend your next read. A Summer to Remember by Erika Montgomery is a poignant story of family, friends and love during the golden age of Hollywood as well as the present. Set in Cape Cod, it is the perfect book to escape to for those of us craving summer weather. Frankie Simon is a thirty- year- old woman who sells movie memorabilia in her Hollywood shop that she opened with her late mother. Frankie has never known her father’s identity - her mother would never disclose this information. When a package arrives including a photo of her mother with famous Hollywood celebrities Glory Cartwright and her husband while at a Cape Cod festival the year before Frankie was born, she is highly intrigued. Her mother had never shared with her this part of her life and feels a strong connection to seek out the mysteries of the photo. How did her mother know these celebrities and why was she in Cape Cod that summer? Given the time frame, she’s curious to see whether or not this information may lead her to the identity of her father. Will Frankie gain the knowledge she so desperately is seeking? A Summer to Remember is a beautifully written book. The characters are well developed and likeable. The story unfolds naturally is a series of reflections of the events of the past, interspersed with the current storyline. I felt engaged and connected to these characters. I particularly appreciated the female friendships established in the book as well as the discussion on the sacrifices women make for their families. I really enjoyed Frankie’s journey to discovering more about her mother’s life during this time and was satisfied with the ending. Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here. A Summer to Remember publishes May 11/21.

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  • Perfect summer escape!

    4.25 stars! A Summer to Remember is the perfect escape---especially if you're a fan of movies and old Hollywood. If life would have allowed, I would have read this one in one sitting. And I was continually impressed that it's a debut novel with the skillful writing and well-rounded characters. The novel follows two women---Frankie, who runs a memorabilia shop in Hollywood started by her late mother, and Louise, who runs an annual film festival in Cape Cod. The two women's lives will converge in Cape Cod in surprising ways, and Louise's story includes flashbacks to the past and how the film festival came to be. Montgomery has fleshed out all her characters and I was completely sold on following their journeys. While some of the twists were predictable, I was still invested. It was inspiring to see these two confident women find their footing. I also appreciated the realistic portrayal of Louise and her husband Russ's relationship as an older couple. It was refreshing and heartwarming. The chapters were quick and concise with just the right amount of history, mystery, and romance. And I so enjoyed the movie quotes that opened each chapter, recognizing many of my favorites. I'm so happy I picked this one up, and I look forward to Montgomery's next story! Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an advanced reader's copy.

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  • A winner - romance, mystery, and Hollywood!

    What a fun first novel. I am looking forward to more great stories from this author. It’s a love story, a mystery, a story of secrets and betrayals, of long-forgotten friendships. And of a woman looking to see where she belongs. It was always just Frankie and her mother, running their movie memorabilia shop on Hollywood Boulevard, and they had a fine time doing it, just the two of them against the world. But now Frankie’s mother is gone and Frankie may lose the lease for the shop. Suddenly it’s not her and her mom enjoying the Hollywood glitz and glitter, the movie quote and gossip, but just 30-year old Frankie missing her mom, wondering what she is going to do, and thinking maybe she would have liked to have more family after all. So when a package arrives containing a mysterious photograph Frankie starts to wonder about the life her mother had before Frankie was born, and if it just might be possible to find her father, to have a family. So off she goes to Cape Cod with nothing but the photograph and some hunches. Frankie feels at home on the Cape, both with the place and with the people she meets. But will the secrets she uncovers make it possible for her to stay or necessary for her to leave? Will she find family – and love – or will the truth ruin her? Thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing an advance copy of A Summer to Remember via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. It’s a wonderful story, with interesting characters and a good mystery to keep you guessing and a sweet romance running throughout. All opinions are my own. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and recommend it without hesitation.

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  • Family Secrets

    This book has a lot of secrets to reveal. Everything comes back to one instance that happened thirty years ago. I enjoyed the back and forth between the present and thirty years ago. I would have liked to get Gabe's point of view. It is amazing to see how different people see things and interpret them. In the end this story is about family, those who are blood and those who you make your family. *I received this free book from NetGalley and am leaving my honest opinion*

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  • Memorable novel of friendship, family, and home

    Thanks to the Book Club Cookbook program, St. Martin’s Publishing Group, and NetGalley for an advance reader copy. All comments and opinions are my own. #ASummertoRemember #NetGalley This was a totally engaging book from the start, where 30-year-old Frankie runs a Hollywood-based memorabilia shop, which her late mother, Maeve, opened years ago. Receiving a package from Maeve's boyfriend, Frankie hopes the photo and letters enclosed will reveal the name of Frankie's father, whose identity she has never known. Using the old photo of her mother and famous movie stars Glory Cartwright and Mitch Beckett at a Cape Cod film festival as a clue, Frankie travels to the coastal town in search of her father. She meets people who knew her mother as a young woman, as well as connecting with an attractive man - and sparks fly. Author Erika Montgomery includes quotes from well-known Hollywood movies at the beginning of each chapter, in addition to sprinkling references to movies and stars from the 1970s and 1980s throughout the novel. The Hollywood allusions of romance, dreams and happy endings are juxtaposed with the actualities of family secrets, betrayals, and sad memories. Throughout this novel of mystery and romance Frankie searches for her real father as she inadvertently uncovers the secrets of her mother, movie stars Glory and Mitch, and others who knew Maeve during her time on Cape Cod. The well-written and imaginative story is a captivating read and kept me turning the pages. I have to share two complaints: the title A Summer to Remember was just too corny and doesn't do the book justice. I also didn't like the cover - both it and the title seem to promise a chick-lit story, and this is so much more than that. I highly recommend this memorable novel of friendship, family, and finding how the past unlocks the present.

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